the change in a room

when i was a child the change in a room, or its function, always felt like magic. one obvious example would be our family’s old living room when christmas was coming. i would stare at the baubles and fairy lights on our christmas tree as if there were many different little worlds in them. not ones incubated by elves or magical creatures, no. they were more like ours, filled with regular people. and i would be in one of them. i didn’t know what i would do in them but at that time the thought felt nice.

there was this other time when the school organized a sleepover for the students. and we would all sleep in our classrooms. i thought it sounded fun but i guess i didn’t think long enough. early in the afternoon, before the events of what would be one of the worst nights in my life began to roll out, my parents actually asked me to choose whether i go with them to puncak or stay and camp at school. i chose the latter — a stupid, stupid choice. when the teachers turned off the lights, what i thought would be an innocent sleepover — camping, they said — turned into a crazy horror show and our school was the horrible setting. i felt this uncontrollable urge to just go to where my parents were. it was an emotion rather unfamiliar for me. it was rage, abandonment, and painful regret all at once. but in hindsight, it went a little bit beyond that. i felt utterly and thoroughly deceived, both by my teachers and parents. i wanted to show independence and plunged myself right into it. what could a little sleepover at our safe little school do to me. well, nobody fucking told me they would fucking scare the children!

but there was nothing i could do, not even cry. it would be social suicide to cry when you were stuck spending the night with the whole school. in the morning, i was a different person i think. i grew up a bit, into an adult who always try to hold her tears just a bit longer every time. so it was good, eh?

until something finally went bust and leaked.

tick tock

father’s bed is made, but no one has changed his bed sheet since he died in his sleep almost two weeks ago.

there are two clocks in this room. they had been souvenirs from two different banks. and both of them let out incessant tick-tocking sounds,

which must have been the last sounds he had heard.

_

i put my hand on his pillow, sit on the bed and then lie down. i immediately realize that almost everything that can be seen from this position is still the same with what i had seen when i was still a child sleeping on this bed between my mother and father.

_

i get up and look at his things, scattered around his bed. never worn shirts and ties, still in their packaging. bed sheets, some old some new. house clothes, washed and folded. coins, in small plastic containers on his dressing table labeled Rp 25,- Rp 50,- Rp 100,- in his handwriting. and even more coins that he had yet organized, coins that have now been withdrawn from circulation.

_

no one was allowed in this room when he was still alive. except for my daughter.